Published: 10:00, 16 January 2015
A hooded sex fiend carried out an attack on a terrified victim - and then followed the police investigation on the internet.
Vile Christopher Hatcher, 30, tracked his victim along the Royal Military Canal in Hythe at 7am on a summer’s day in June last year.
Then he took out a knife and frogmarched the frightened woman to a secluded area where he threatened to kill her unless she undressed.
After carrying out his sex assault, he then robbed her of her handbag before making his escape.
Canterbury Crown Court heard that in a sinister twist, Hatcher, of Chestnut Terrace, Dymchurch Road, Hythe then stalked the police investigation through online news reports.
But prosecutor Christopher May revealed that officers had matched his DNA from a discarded handbag and items of clothing.
Today, he was given a six-year jail sentence after admitting sex assault, kidnapping and robbery.
Judge Adele Williams added two more years, that he will have to serve on licence when he is released.
Mr May said the victim was going to work when she heard running footsteps behind her which she thought were from a jogger.
But when the steps slowed down she turned to face Hatcher, who was hooded and wearing a scarf around his face.
Brandishing a knife, he snarled twice: “Don’t make a noise. Come with me,” before taking her 400 metres into a wooded area and ordering her to strip.
“Don’t look at me. If you do I will stab you...” - Hatcher to his victim
He then told the woman: “Don’t look at me. If you do I will stab you!” before ordering her to cover her face with a cardigan.
Mr May added that when police raided Hatcher’s home they discovered he had been using his computer to follow the investigation.
Judge Williams told him that he had left his victim completely traumatised, suffering from panic attacks and fearful of going out alone.
“She was completely terrified by what you did and I have concluded that you pose a serious risk of causing serious harm to others,” she added.
Detective Inspector Richard Vickery said: "This was a premeditated incident in which Hatcher targeted his victim in a secluded area in the early hours of a Sunday morning.
"It must have been a terrifying experience for the victim. With her assistance and detailed account we were able to compile a thorough and comprehensive case against Hatcher.
"She is an extremely courageous young lady and I would take this opportunity to thank her personally.
"In the weeks after the assault, officers carried out regular patrols in the area to keep members of the public safe and they were close by when they were able to respond to a call on July 5.
"Officers were able to make a crucial arrest and thanks to the advances in forensic science, we were able to match Hatcher’s DNA with that found on an item of the victim’s clothing and handbag.
Stories you might have missed